Monday, January 31, 2011

My Monday In Uruguay

Noelle and I got up early (8:45 is early for us, especially Buenos Aires time) and headed down the street to the ferry station to go to Colonia del Sacramento, Uruguay. Got to the station early only to find a huge line (which more than doubled while we waited there) for checking in. After checking in, we went through immigracion, where the Argentine official stamped us out and the Uruguayan official next to him stamped us in. Then we got on the catamaran for the 50 or so minute ride across Rio de la Plata to Uruguay (the Switzerland of South America, I am told). Right before we left, the skies had opened up and I was afraid we'd be spending the day in the ferry terminal on the other side waiting for our return trip while watching turistas wash out to sea. I fell asleep part way through the trip and woke up when my phone company texted me to let me know we'd crossed the border and different rates applied (actually exactly the same as Argentina, but whatever). After waiting for the rest of the ship to disembark, we finally set foot on Uruguayan shores. To my surprise and delight, the skies were partly cloudy and the sun appeared to be making a reappearance.

Colonia is, as advertised, very relaxing. Compared to hectic Buenos Aires, very _very_ relaxing. The tree lined, cobblestone streets were pretty quiet and the architecture (a mixture of colonial Portuguese and Spanish, who fought over it for a while) is largely quite beautiful. Everyone seems laid back and the best thing to do IMHO is to sit at a cafe, have a beer and watch the waves. Noelle and I spent the day exploring the streets, taking pictures, and periodically stopping for a cool drink or something to eat in the shade. We saw a lot of antique cars, a few tourists here and there, some dogs preparing for mischief, and a lot of pretty buildings. It got pretty hot fairly quickly, once the rain clouds passed, so we took a number of breaks.

We had a late return and were killing time wandering the streets for photo ops, when I took a moment to look at my phone while outside a hotel to see if I could snag some free internet. By chance, I noticed the time was an hour later than on my watch. It was at that point that we learned that Uruguay appears to observe Daylight Savings Time, while Argentina does not. After this discovery we high tailed it back to the terminal so as to catch the ferry back to Buenos Aires. Because of the time change, we arrived essentially when we left. :-)

Anyway, a long day, although ultimately a relaxing one. I think I would be happy to return back to Colonia to hang out and chill, should opportunity arise in the future.

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